Some late summer moths

The contents of my moth trap  changes now as we approach autumn. It is now dominated by Large Yellow Underwings, Flame Shoulders, Common Rustics and  Square-spot Rustics – an overwhelming predominance of brown moths.

Maiden's Blush
Amongst this backdrop are a few different moths – this is a Maiden’s Blush – it is a second generation animal as it has the dark blotches at the hind end of the forewing.

Double-striped pug
There are also a few pugs – small and often difficult to identify species – I think this is a Double-striped Pug, although I am happy to be corrected.

Cypress pug
This is a Cypress Pug – a species which is associated with Leylandii and other introduced Cypresses – it was first recorded in Cornwall in 1959. It is still uncommon but it found along the south coast from Cornwall to Kent

Rosy footman
This is a Rosy Footman

It won’t be long now until the proper autumnal moths begin to appear

The four footmen of my garden

There are a group of moths known as the Footman moths and last night I had four different species in my trap. All footman species have caterpillars which feed on lichens.

Four-spotted footman
This is a Four-spotted Footman – this is the male (the female has two spots on each forewing). It is a large moth being around twice the size of other footman species – as a result it is unmistakable. Nationally this is a rare moth but there are strong colonies in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. It has the designation of National Scarce A which means it occurs as a breeding species in between 16-30 10 km squares. However it is also a known immigrant species so numbers can be bolstered by animals from the continent. Impossible to say whether this is a breeding species in my garden or an immigrant.

Scarce footman
This is a Scarce Footman – a much more compact species which has the habit (which is the ID clincher) of appearing very thin as it rolls its wings around its abdomen. It is a local species but is more common than its name suggests.

Common footman
This is the Common Footman – the commonest footman in the UK. Its wings are light grey and are fringed by yellow lines on the forewing.

Rosy footmanAnd this is the Rosy Footman – a very distinctive and attractive species.

The Rosy Footman

Another very attractive moth in the trap last night – the rosy footman.

Rosy footman
A local species in the south of England. The caterpillars feed on dog lichen and other lichens. Usually a woodland species but also in hedges with large tree – like my garden!

Some summer moths

A few colourful moths from my garden trap

Ruby footmanThis is the rosy footman – local but well distributed species in Devon. Caterpillars feed on tree lichens

PhoenixThis is the phoenix – caterpillars feed on red and black currants – common

Lesser broad bordered yellow underwing

This is the lesser broad bordered yellow uunderwing – common with the caterpillars feeding on a range of plants such as white dead nettle, broadleaved dock and Arum Lily